“Highly Suspicious” Fire Destroys Family Owned Restaurant

The fire in San Bernardino is considered suspicious after a person was seen leaving the location

A man was seen walking from what investigators called a "highly suspicious" fire Tuesday morning that destroyed a family owned San Bernardino restaurant.

The fire was reported just before midnight, on the 1400 block of East Highland Avenue, at the No Name Cafe, San Bernardino City Fire officials said. The same restaurant burned early this month, according to fire officials.

Monday's fire is considered suspicious and likely was intentionally set, fire officials said.

"There was far too much fire involved early on in the fire to lead us to believe that this was accidental," said Capt. Jason Serrano, of the San Bernardino Fire Department. "Our investigators are labeling this highly suspicious."

Back on July 10, a passerby spotted the flames coming from the cafe, which was closed at the time, San Bernardino City Fire PIO Mike Arvizo said. That fire was deemed accidental and had caused approximately $100,000 in damage, Arvizo said. 

Firefighters were still battling Monday's blaze as of 1:45 a.m. Tuesday. A man was seen "walking briskly" from the property early Tuesday, Serrano said.

"I hope it isn't something that somebody's getting their thrills off of," said Rick Ankrum, owner of a nearby business.

The restaurant was closed after the July 10 fire, which was considered an accident.

The owners purchased the building in the 1970s and operated the business as Theodora's Cafe. It was later sold and reopened as No Name Cafe in the 1985.

No arrests were reported Tuesday morning.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

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